BAA appoints Kirk to ease residents’ runway concerns

Heathrow airport has recruited RNID campaigns and media director Gill Kirk to shore up community support for controversial expansion plans.

Kirk is to join as head of public affairs later this month in a role created to strengthen relations with residents, who are growing increasingly uneasy over the possibility of a third runway at Heathrow.

The extra runway is one option being put forward by Heathrow’s operator BAA in its response to the Government, which is drawing up plans to tackle an expected massive increase in air travel.

Kirk reports to Heathrow director of comms Jon Philips, who stressed BAA is not pinning itself to one specific option.

Philips said an area of communications he would like to see improve is ‘getting more positive messages out to the local media’. Kirk will work with head of media relations Mark Pearson to address this.

Philips added that Kirk, who leaves the charity after a year and was previously with BSMG Worldwide, will also conduct a full review of current stakeholder and community relations.

Earlier this month, around 500 residents marched in protest against the runway plans. Protestors claim the runway would result in demolition of homes, schools and churches.

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